At least eight killed as vigilantes clash in Mexico

At least eight killed as vigilantes clash in Mexico
A member of the community police of Guerrero, (L), inspects the documents of a man at a checkpoint.

XOLAPA, Mexico - Feuding members of a self-defence militia clashed in southern Mexico on Saturday, leaving at least eight people dead on the eve of midterm elections.

An AFP journalist saw one body at the scene of the shootout - the group's headquarters in the town of Xolapa, Guerrero state - and another seven lying in wake in the homes of relatives.

A state government official said the death toll could rise to 16.

The clash did not appear linked to Sunday's congressional, gubernatorial and municipal elections.

The state government said in a statement that the clash involved rival factions of the United Front for Security and Development in Guerrero State (FUSDEG).

The prosecutor's office is investigating how many people were killed or wounded, the statement said, adding that the group "presumably has a dispute over territory in the Acapulco-Chilpancingo corridor."

Self-defence forces are legal in Guerrero's indigenous communities, where they are allowed to apply their customs for law and order.

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